The New York City mayoral race has been anything but dull. Between Weinergate, the subway kitten fiasco, and some colorful debates, it wouldn’t be a good ol' political race without some scandals and controversies.
One controversial pot is being stirred by none other than current Mayor Michael “Stop-and-Frisk” Bloomberg, who has accused Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio of running a racist campaign by “using his family to gain support” (de Blasio's wife is black and his children are mixed-race). The comments appeared in New York Magazine’s interview with the outgoing mayor who states that it’s “obvious” what de Blasio is doing.
Family appearances on the campaign trail have the become status quo. Here is de Blasio's son, Dante, in an ad for his father:
And here is mayoral candidate Bill Thompson’s daughter, Jennifer, in an ad for her father:
One of Anthony Weiner’s ads, featuring his wife Huma and their son, Jordan:
Or what about Christine Quinn’s wife, Kim Catullo, out on the campaign trail?
If Bloomberg is being true to his observations based on his claim that candidates "tailor messages" to their audience, he could say that Bill Thompson is using his daughter, Jennifer, a former teacher, to pander to the teacher vote. He could say that Anthony Weiner is using Huma's visibility to quell inquisitions about his personal life. He could also say then, that Kim Catullo accompanying Christine Quinn on the trail is evidence of her trying to rally the LBGT vote. So, why is Bloomberg singling out de Blasio's family and not the others?
What’s particularly unsettling about the mayor's statements, apart from the fact that accusations of racism should probably not come from the man who vehemently defends Stop-and-Frisk, is that they themselves are racist. For Bloomberg to claim that Bill de Blasio would exploit his family to "gain support" insinuates that his marriage was a political move, a reprehensible implication. As Chiara, de Blasio's daughter, said in response to Bloomberg's comments, “I would say that 20 years ago, my dad did not know he was running for mayor, and he did not seek to marry a black woman to put her on display. Thank you.”
Yes, thank you, Mayor Bloomberg, for dropping such transparent pearls of wisdom. The people of New York really appreciated it.